As a student your sketches, data records, compositions, musings, journaling, or regular day-to-day notes need recording. A high-quality paper notebook is the best in recording your discoveries, thoughts and any primary information. The education sector is the biggest consumer of notebooks.
To understand the enormous nature of this market, one should look at the large number of students that graduate each year. For instance, 9,550 college students were awarded biochemistry degrees in 2016. All these students need to record and present their analyses, hypotheses, interpretations, experiments, and collected data, and notebooks provide an ideal record for all this information. Poor quality lab notebooks may easily tear or poorly absorb ink and lead to a loss of your information.
This article reviews the features that make up a good lab notebook.
Why is a high-quality lab notebook essential?
A lab notebook allows you to record your laboratory findings and data. These notebooks differ from other notebooks because they have inclusions such as graph grids for drawing graphs and tables for data entry. Their robust bindings and high-quality paper ensure that they don’t get easily damaged or spoiled by ink.
Here are some of the things to look out for when buying a lab notebook.
• Sheet Style
The sheet style determines the use of your notebook. Plain, graph, and lined notebooks are the most common sheet styles. Ruled or lined notebooks are ideal for writing. Visual thinkers and artists prefer plain notebooks, whereas; notebooks with graph grid lines are useful to designers, engineers, and scientists who need to draw graphs or diagrams.
• Spacing of the lines
Many students use the medium ruled 7mm paper. Students with small-sized handwriting should use the narrow ruled 6mm paper. The wide ruled 8mm paper is often used by people who have large handwriting or grade school students. For graph lab notebooks, the standard spacing is 5mm, but there is also a less popular 3mm grid for students that engage in detailed work.
The binding of notebooks can be done in different ways, and each binding style determines how easy or hard it is for a notebook to tear. Notebooks can be bound by rings, spirals, threads, staples, glue, or a combination of any of these binding styles. The style of binding determines how sturdy and flat a notebook can be. Staple and glue binding are often the weakest, but they are preferable for students that would like to pluck a leaf of their work from the notebook. On the other hand, ring, spiral and stitched binding are the strongest and they can hold papers together strongly.
• Paper Weight
Paperweight is often expressed in grams or pounds per square meter. As a rule of thumb, heavy notebook papers are thick and durable. They have less show-through and they can withstand erasing. Students writing on both sides of the paper should prefer lab notebooks with heavier paper.
• Number of sheets
Some students prefer thin laboratory notebooks with few pages, whereas; others prefer thick notebooks with a high page-count. If you have lots of information to record, then a thick notebook would be preferable. Otherwise, a thin notebook is ideal if you have to lug around many of them for different purposes.
• Design and cover material
Sturdy covers are always the best if you’re seeking for durability. The options you may have include leather, luxurious leatherette, flexible plastic, hard chipboard, and thick cardstock. Always go for covers with rounded corners because they don’t wear down easily. Some notebook manufacturers offer covering materials in the form of built-in pockets or sleeves. It’s recommendable to buy such notebooks because you’ll be sure that they can last for long.
Perforations allow you to tear pages from your notebook to submit homework or share content. Always go for lab notebooks with closely perforated lines so as to get a clean tear whenever you want to remove a page from your notebook.
If you want to accurately record your information and prevent losing your content, then choose a high-quality notebook that will not easily lose shape through wear and tear as it gets lugged around in your backpack.